For the past 18 months, a game cock pheasant has been helping a farmer round up his sheep. The unnamed bird appears several times a day while Chris Purdham is doing the rounds on his quad-bike checking on his fell sheep at his farm in Gamblesby, Cunbria.
“He’s there first thing in the morning, and last thing at night, and even when I go down at times during the day to check on the sheep,” said 33-year-old Chris.
“He just appears when he hears my quad-bike.”
Chris says the bird first appeared during his 2015 lambing season.
“He first started following me around the fields and down the lonning.
Then one day he just started to round the sheep up. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing at first, but I have got used to him now.
He even waits for a couple of seconds to make sure all the stragglers are through,” added Chris.
“He’s not even afraid of my sheepdog.
“They seem to have got used to each other, and the pheasant is definitely cock of the walk. He just goes where the sheep are.
After I’ve finished checking the sheep, we both go our own way to get our breakfast,” he added.
He said the bird helps him round up a flock consisting of about 270 sheep.
“They are our fell ewes wintering near Glassonby, and are checked every day,” he added.